Our attention has been drawn to the above story which appeared on Page 3, in Saturday- October 8, 2016 of Vanguard newspaper and written by Soni Daniel where he stated thus “Saturday Vanguard gathered that among those taken into custody last night were two Supreme Court Justices who allegedly played ignoble but crucial roles in subverting judgements in favour of one of the two leading political parties in Akwa Ibom State and another state in the South-East”.
We are surprised d by the use of such phrase as “ignoble but critical roles” that the writer employed. How did the writer come to such conclusions, whereas reports on the alleged arrest of the judges both in other major national newspapers and on the social media did not mention Akwa Ibom State nor include any of the names of the justices that sat on the Akwa Ibom case.
The 7-Member Supreme Court Justices that determined the case in favour of Governor Udom Emmanuel and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) were as follows: Justice Mahmud Mohammed, the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Ibrahim Tanko Muhammad, Suleiman Galadima, Olabode Rhodes- Vivour, Kumai Bayang Aka’AHS, Kudirat M.O .Kere-Ekun and Chima Centus Nweze.
How did the writer connect the judgement to the “ignoble but critical roles in subverting judgements in favour of one of the two leading political parties in Akwa Ibom State.”
While not impugning the integrity and professional antecedents of the writer, who also happens to come from Akwa Ibom state, we are aware of certain political currents and ill-founded narrative that are not supported by fact, logic or intellectual rigour by certain elements within the Akwa Ibom State political space where they ascribe meanings and propagate their received or conventional wisdom on the political developments arising from the long settled 2015 gubernatorial elections.
We hate to believe that the writer may have based his report on those unfounded and politically motivated narrative. The judiciary is an important institution in the deepening of democratic ethos and values and we hold the institution in the highest possible esteem.
We wish to state here in the strongest possible way that the report was erroneous, misleading and deeply malicious. The general public should discountenance and dismiss the report in its entirety.